Correia to start Grapefruit League opener
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Right-hander Kevin Correia is slated to start Minnesota’s Grapefruit League opener against the Orioles on Saturday in Sarasota, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced today.
Correia, who signed a two-year, $10 million deal to join the Twins this offseason, is set to make the start because the club wants him to make two starts before he departs for San Diego on Feb. 27 because his wife is due to give birth.
“We’re going to get him out there a couple times before that,” Gardenhire said. “Then he’s going to head out. It’s all planned. He’ll come back after that. Right now,we’ll get him out there first and go from there.”
After Correia, Shairon Martis, Ryan Pressly, Josh Roenicke, Tim Wood, Anthony Slama, Luis Perdomo and Bryan Augenstein are on the list to throw against the Orioles.
The Twins, however, have yet to announce a starter for Opening Day against the Tigers on April 1 at Target Field. Left-hander Scott Diamond is the frontrunner but it’ll depend on his health, as he’s just starting to throw off a mound after undergoing surgery in December to have a bone chip removed from his elbow.
Diamond threw off a mound for a second straight day today and is scheduled to throw a full bullpen session on Friday before facing live hitters next week. And if all continues to go well, he could be pitching in Grapefruit League games by the second week of March.
So while he’s not ready to make any predictions about being ready for the season just yet, he’s happy with his progress.
“The ball is coming out good but it’s just about finding the mechanics and that release point,” Diamond said. “Everything is lining up, which is positive. I’m just trying to get out the kinks but structurally it feels awesome. I’m not having any discomfort or tightness the next day. So basically, the recovery is going really well.”
Other notes from Twins camp:
— Gardenhire was impressed by what he saw from Rule 5 Draft selection Ryan Pressly and Tim Wood. Both threw live bullpens at Hammond Stadium. “I got to see some new people I hadn’t seen throw,” Gardenhire said. “Pressly and guys like that. I changed fields today for that reason. That was kind of fun to watch. Wood, the ball moves around all over the place.”
— Trevor Plouffe, who is dealing with a sore right calf, took part in infield drills and took batting practice. He also was able to do some light running drills.
— Make sure to check out Training Days, which is the Twins’ new behind-the-scenes video series they are debuting this spring. Today is Episode 1 and new episodes are expected to debut every Wednesday.
— Also, if you’re on Instagram, make sure to give me a follow (@rhettbollinger). I take a lot of photos on there, including ones that don’t end up on Twitter. I also joined Telly to post videos there, including ones I took today of Justin Morneau and Chris Parmelee taking batting practice.
Here are some of those photos from today: